When I was teaching preschool, a mother of a four-year-old boy asked me when she should talk to her son about God. Since I was teaching in a Christian preschool, the question surprised me. And since I was recently married with no children, I couldn’t speak from experience. I can’t remember exactly what I told her, but I know I assured her that her son was ready to learn simple spiritual truths, and that she could certainly talk to her son about God. Now that I am a mother of three grown children, as well as a grandmother, the answer would roll off my tongue: You begin teaching your children about God from the day they are born.
It begins in the rocking chair—singing Jesus Loves Me while feeding your precious pink bundle, or praying over your infant son as you tuck him into his baby blue swaddle. It continues with boardbooks and picture books about God, Jesus, and the Bible. As babies grow into toddlers, outdoor walks give many opportunities to talk about nature and our Creator—the sun in God’s big sky, the pretty flowers He makes, and the birds who chirp His praises.
Time spent in the car running errands can include praise songs for little ones to listen to. Mealtime prayers and bedtime stories are other opportunities for children to learn about God throughout the day.The key to teaching your little ones about God is to be consistent and to incorporate prayer and Bible stories into their daily routines. Children thrive on routine, and once you establish a regular time, your children will not let you skip no matter how tired you may be!
One of my books for little ones is The One Year Book of Devotions for Preschoolers (Tyndale). This small, chunky book contains 366 short devos for little ones. Each daily reading includes a very short, age-appropriate devotional, a Bible verse, and a short rhyming prayer. This book is a part of Tyndale’s Little Blessings® line, and is illustrated with the adorable art of Elena Kucharik, the creator of the Care Bears.
I am thrilled when parents tell me how much their children like Devotions for Preschoolers, and how they read it over and over again. But another blessing is that the parents who read the book to their children are also taking in some good reminders for themsevles. When God’s truth is in simple language, it is often the most powerful.
It’s never too early to talk to your children about God, and it’s never too late to begin the discipline of having daily devotions with your children.
Love your little blessings. Hug and kiss them often. Pray with them every day.